After a trying year, consumers are looking forward to the comfort of the holiday season. However, this holiday season will be different. The consumer is not looking for the typical holiday experience. The consumer is spending their holiday budget in a more meaningful way than ever before. According to CNBC, the holiday shopper is, “…directing more of their dollars toward retailers that share similar values during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new survey by Accenture.” The Accenture study also revealed that 61% of the 1,500 people surveyed said, “they are more likely to make purchases at companies that show they’re committed to health, safety and hygiene.” With health and safety in mind, discover four simple ways your business can build confidence with your customers, and have a successful holiday season.
1. Incorporate New Strategies for Customer Comfort
Currently, consumers are experiencing a considerable amount of COVID fatigue. “Recent McKinsey research also notes that even though 80 percent of consumers report still feeling somewhat unsafe, activity is picking up, with one-third of consumers resuming “normal” out-of-home activities,” reports Forbes. With customers wanting to return to businesses, businesses need to make sure they can do so safely.
Many restaurants and retailers now incorporate curbside pick-up, contactless delivery, and even touch-free checkouts. However, businesses cannot get too comfortable in their procedures, “…with fall barely here and winter weather approaching, restaurants and bars throughout the northern U.S. are figuring out how to adapt to a season that’s traditionally brutal for the industry,” according to Eater. In an attempt to keep adapting, restaurants are now “winterizing” their outdoor spaces to accommodate their guests. And, they are not just setting out a blanket and a couple of heaters. As stated by Fortune, some are incorporating special private spaces for their customers, including heated tables, “cozy cabins”, and even igloos.
But do not worry; you do not need to invest in an igloo to build confidence with your customers. Your business’s best bet is actually to ensure your compliance with health and safety measures, even if that means implementing a new procedure or investing in an informative program like mystery shopping. With Mystery Shopping, you can ensure your employees are properly trained and following protocols. It is a valuable investment to make sure you are ready for your holiday guests.
2. Listen to Your Customer
Now more than ever, customers have a higher standard for the businesses they frequent. Plus, there is a greater risk of losing that customer’s support. Forbes states the customer is not only seeking high-quality products and services from businesses. They are looking for companies, “incorporating next-generation experience management that puts the consumer in the driver’s seat for creating the products and services they want while supporting a positive experience at every touchpoint.” The customer wants to report their experience and to be acknowledged by management if there is an issue.
With the Trusted Partner Program, the business gives the customer a voice in their health and hygiene experience. It provides the customer with the ability to speak directly and discreetly with the business by texting the word SAFE to a national number. It is straightforward and easy, with no need to download an app. Plus, it takes less than sixty seconds to review their experience with the business’s health and hygiene. When the customer commences the review, the text-based health and hygiene survey will prompt the customer with an option to be contacted directly by the business. By confirming, the business will have a direct line to the customer.
The Trusted Partner Program allows the company to form a relationship with the customer, address issues quickly, and keep negative comments off social media. Enabling the customer with this kind of power is a sure way to build their confidence in your business because they will feel heard and valued as your customer.
3. Go Digital
A practical approach to investing in your consumer confidence is implementing new technology. Use the latest technology to your advantage and get ahead for your customers’ safety. For instance, Build-A-Bear Workshop now offers pre-order pickup for their customizable plush toys for the holiday season. This move to online customization offers their customers convenience, safety, and comfort while still building lasting memories.
While many retailers and restaurants have gone digital through online ordering or e-commerce, it is not the only way to employ technology. For example, technology can help you monitor your performance with health and hygiene via customer feedback. With the Trusted Partner Program’s real-time dashboard reporting, identify trends and areas of opportunity. The easy-to-use dashboard displays all the results of your health and hygiene performance: summary reports, detailed reports by location, customer feedback, and any customer issues. Give your customers a better holiday shopping and dining experience by accessing and evaluating your performance as well as allowing your customers to give feedback on your health and hygiene throughout the season.
4. Start Early. Start Now.
Shoppers are participating in earlier holiday shopping days this year. The Chicago Tribune reports, “About 46% of consumers plan to start their holiday shopping in October or earlier, while 43% plan to wait until November, according to a National Retail Federation survey conducted in September.” Some retailers and restaurants are even offering deals and decorations earlier to cater to the early shopping crowd. Many shoppers report avoiding typical shopping days out of safety concerns. That means the time to make sure you are up to health and safety compliance is now. Offer your guests a say in your health and hygiene with the Trusted Partner Program. Make this holiday season more connected, meaningful, and safe for your customers.